Auriemma Expects Different Attitude Heading Into Next Season

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UConn coach Geno Auriemma did not make any predictions about winning another national championship next season at the Victory Parade in Hartford April 14. He did not make any today either following the official ribbon cutting ceremony at his new restaurant, Geno’s Grille, at the impressive Storrs Center.

What Auriemma said will be different, however, is the attitude of the team heading into next season. The Huskies will return All-Americans Stefanie Dolson, Bria Hartley and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, soon-to-be All-American Breanna Stewart, 82.8 percent of their scoring and 80.1 percent of their rebounding from this season’s 35-4 champion.

“I think one of the great things about winning a national championship and you have a lot of players coming back is this tremendous sense of confidence that they have that they know they can do it because they’ve done it,’’ Auriemma said. “However, once October, November and December come around you start to gauge whether or not that confidence is based on what happened last year or what we’re doing this year in October, November, and December. So, yeah, certainly the attitude going into next season is going to be a little bit different than the attitude that went into this season when you’re not sure if you can do it. That’s the biggest difference.’’

The Huskies have not yet officially begun their quest for an NCAA record ninth national championship. They were given two weeks off following a 93-60 rout of Louisville in the NCAA tournament final in New Orleans April 9.

“It’s hard,’’ Auriemma said. “When you go as deep as we do and the season ended April 9, then we give them a couple weeks off. The next thing you know it’s the end of April. The next week is the week before exams, which means you can’t do anything. Then after that it’s exams and then they’re done. So there’s not much of a postseason when you go into April like some teams that get knocked out March 1. So the fact that a lot of them are going to be here taking summer school courses that’s a time when they can really get some work done. And then a bunch of them are doing USA Basketball.’’

The allotted two weeks off from the UConn coaching staff has not stopped some of the healthy players from getting an early start on their off-season workload. Some have already been in the gym. Some have already been in the weight room.

“Stefanie does her workouts differently because she’s trying to recover,’’ Auriemma said. “Morgan (Tuck’s) done a lot of stuff now because she’s healthy for the first time. I walked in the other day and Kaleena, Kiah (Stokes), Bria and Stewie were in a 4-on-4 game against four guys. They’ve all been in there at various times. It’s just you don’t get to see them all together. But they’re all in there at various times.’’

Rich

Categories: General

4 Responses

  1. Konsumers says:

    The name that pops out to me is hearing that Kiah Stokes is putting the work in now to be better next year. If you know something about womens college bb and this team then you know how important the ascension of Kiah Stokes is for UConn..

  2. oldfuzz says:

    I both would and would not like to be one of the guys in the four on four… but I think they would take me apart with kindness.

  3. 6+ Months is Too Long of a Wait says:

    Auriemma will give KML 30 mpg even on a bad ankle. Dolson and Hartley will be seniors and we know Geno loves seniors even if they put up 0s. A healthy Tuck will get more playing time than Stokes, who would start on most D1 schools. Not at Tennesee though, with Russell, Graves, Harrison, Burdick. UConn versus Tennessee in the Final Four in Nashville. NCAA committee will align the brackets so that the Ladys Wolves and Lady Vols play in the Semi Final because there would be less chance of them meeting in Final. Besides, the Lady Wolves are 4-0 against the Lady Vols.

  4. Brian S says:

    I would love to watch that 4×4 with KML, Stewie, Bria and Kiah.